Bengal drives Modi comeback: Exit polls

Jeannie Matthews
May 22, 2019

Exit polls have predicted the return of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power, sending the markets into a tizzy.

Unfazed by the exit polls results that have given a clear victory to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee will meet other Mahagathbandhan leaders today to hold detailed discussions on the possibility of forming a non-BJP government with Congress support.

The exit poll verdict is in, predicting the BJP-led NDA as the clear victor with big gains in Bengal and Odisha that will help tide it over losses in Uttar Pradesh.

The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex index ended at a record high 39,352 points while the Indian rupee also strengthened to 69.63 to the dollar from its Friday closing of 70.22.

Naidu had tweeted late Sunday that time and again exit polls failed to catch the people's pulse. "When multiple exit polls convey the same message, the direction of the result broadly would be in consonance with the message", Mr Jaitley said in a blog post yesterday. The first exit poll was conducted by the Indian Institute of Public Opinion after the second Lok Sabha general elections that took place in 1957.

Modi fought an acrimonious campaign framed around his tough national security stance rather than the economy. Come May 23, the actual results will show whether the flurry of activity associated with this sprawling Lutyen's Delhi bungalow will return or whether Monday's melancholia will have an extended spell. Some opposition politicians in India are taking comfort in the wrong predictions made by pollsters in the US presidential election in 2016, the Brexit referendum also in 2016 and in last week's Australian election.

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Congress spokesman Sanjay Jha said on Twitter he believed the exit poll numbers were wrong.

"During past exit polls, forecast regarding the BJD were wrong". I appeal to all the Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. Kalvakuntala Chandrashekar RaoKnown as KCR, the chief minister of India's youngest state Telangana has been reportedly trying to pull together a non-BJP, non-Congress front to form government.

India's upper castes, usually divided or supporters of the opposition Congress party, appear to have consolidated behind Modi, said Gupta, a veteran writer on politics and television talk-show host.

According to its predictions, both the BJD and BJP will secure 10 Lok Sabha seats each while the Congress will win one.

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